Future plans for axed Halifax court building given the green light

The former county court building in Halifax
The former county court building in Halifax

A Halifax court building that has been closed for years after it was shut by the Government will have a new future after plans were approved by Calderdale Council.

Proposals were submitted for the former Halifax County Court building on the junction of Portland Place and Prescott Street.

Highstone Homes Ltd will create 14 apartments which will be used to provide much needed supported living accommodation.

The company says the proposals will offer accommodation to adults with learning disabilities who require support to live independently.

A sleep room for support workers will also be created, as the scheme will have a member of staff on site at all times.

In the application it states: "Discussions were held with Calderdale Council’s Commissioning Officer Karen Midgley for the Council's Adult Health & Social Care Department, which have outlined the high demand for supported living apartments within the Calderdale Borough.

"It is considered that these development proposals will provide much needed supported living accommodation within a highly sustainable location, in close proximity to necessary local services and well connected through public transport links.

"The development proposals will ensure the sustained future use of a currently vacant building, whilst also providing high quality supported living accommodation for the Borough of Calderdale, which is considered to be in high demand."

Access to the apartments is proposed through existing pedestrian entrances.

In the letter of support by the Council's Commissioning Officer Karen Midgley for the Council's Adult Health & Social Care Department, she said: "We have explored a wide range of options to develop suitable accommodation and have found it difficult to access accommodation that is in an accessible location where onsite support can be commissioned to meet people’s needs and help them to gain independence.

"The Calderdale County Court is in an ideal location close to local amenities including leisure facilities and it is within easy walking distance of Halifax town centre. Commissioners in Calderdale have a good working relationship with Highstone Homes and would like to endorse their proposal to re-develop the County Court to provide high quality, long term accommodation for people with a learning disability.

"The initial plans they have discussed in relation to The County Court suggest that apartments could be developed incorporating our requirements with adaptations to meet individual tenant’s needs whilst keeping this important local building in active occupation.

"I believe the above property to be a great solution to help enhance our local offer and provide an appropriate choice of accommodation for people with a learning disability in Calderdale."

Calderdale Magistrates’ and County Court were closed two years ago under Government proposals. The two courts were included on a list of dozens of courts nationally which the Ministry of Justice axed.